CANBERRA, AAP – One of Australia’s largest mutual banks has been recognised for its new digital bank for essential workers.
Teachers Mutual Bank and its offshoot Hiver are among those found to be improving their communities, according to a worldwide survey by the Global Alliance for Banking Values released on Thursday.
Carolyn Murphy, chief digital bank officer at the Mutual told AAP the new bank was named Hiver because it takes the teamwork of an entire community of bees to ensure that a hive thrives.
“Hiver represents the interconnectedness of a very important community of people – essential workers,” she said.
As a mutual bank, the majority of funding comes from member deposits.
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“This means the Hivers – the affectionate term we have given to our Hiver members – that are say, nurses or firefighters, can ultimately contribute towards the home loans of the paramedics and teachers who are also eligible members,” she said.
“As the Hive grows, the more Hiver can invest in its members.”
Currently, workers can get a digital wallet to tap-and-pay, 24-hour access to instant transactions, track spending habits, and a short-term one per cent cash back on spending on groceries and public transport.
Personal loans and car loan offers are coming very soon and home loans are on track for the end of the financial year.
All of Hiver’s retail deposit products, and mortgage products when available, are independently certified as responsible investments by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia.
This is at no extra cost to members and means their money is not being used to fund fossil fuels, tobacco or gambling.
Ms Murphy said Hiver represents a new category of digitally driven bank.
Values-based banks are independent financial organisations that use money for positive social and environmental change.
They can be private banks, credit cooperatives, microfinance institutions, credit unions, and community banks, and serve more than 60 million customers in 44 countries.
Digitalisation allows them to be closer to their customers and meet their needs.
Many of these banks serve people who have never had a bank account, or basic digital products such as credit and debit cards that many of us take for granted.
There is also attention to detail among banks with a mission.
The Hiver Visa debit card is made from 82 per cent recycled plastic.